[WASHINGTON] New claims for US unemployment insurance fell to a five week low last week, pointing to a tightening jobs market, Labour Department data showed Thursday.
Initial jobless claims, a sign of the level of layoffs, dropped by 1,000 to 267,000 in the week ending May 28.
It was the third straight week that claims fell from a surge in late April-early May, dispelling worries that the labour market had begun to slow.
Claims have now held below 300,000 for 65 consecutive weeks, the longest stretch since 1973.
Three weeks earlier, new claims jumped to 294,000, the highest level since February 2014, raising fears that the steady tightening of the market over the past two years might ebb.
The claims data gave support to forecasts of a decent month of job creation in May after April's slowdown.
The Labour Department reports the May data on Friday, with expectations that the unemployment rate will fall to 4.9 per cent from 5 per cent with 175,000 net new jobs.